Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Chino's Rock & Tacos
Ca Dario

Chino's Rock & Tacos
No longer in business
Opened: 2009-06 Closed: 2010-12

714 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-5320

Reviews by the General Public

ehhhh., 12/9/2010
Reviewer: jen from Santa Barbara, CA
The food is decent. I mostly go for the cheap beer, but the service is horrible! The girls look miserable and they don't stand around looking clueless. I made a call in order during my lunch break fifteen minutes before i arrived but it was clear the girl forgot my order and not only that she forgot to make it to go so i was stuck eating there with only a limited time. Horrible service. The fish tacos are good though.

Horrible Service but food is okay, 6/23/2010
Reviewer: Tina from Santa Barbara, CA
I rarely write comments, but I really have to on this one. I ordered a side salad and asked if they could add grilled chicken (which I was happy to pay extra for). I'm a girl trying to watch my weight, okay. We are waiting at our table for our food when the girl who took my order comes up to us and explains that I can not order off the so called value menu and add items to it. She explains that the cook said that is not acceptable. She then hands me my money back, at the table (you know, to make me feel better??). Felt a little embarassed and shamed. Ummm...okay?? Some people really have no business being in customer service (not her fault, she's only following orders, but what is up with the cook?). What about this situation is wrong have food and are in the business of selling it, I have money and am willing to purchase at the price you say, yet you are turning me away? Haven't set foot in that place since and won't be back...too bad because food, atmosphere and location are cool otherwise.

poor service, 5/2/2010
Reviewer: Kristi from Santa Barbara, CA
The girl at the register had the worst attitude and was not helpful when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat. None of the employees seemed happy, or like they wanted to be there. This place has a great look to it and with the music and artwork you would hope they would have employees that were fun as well.

Good food, staff not friendly, 4/27/2010
Reviewer: Tim from Santa Barbara, CA
I really like the food at this place, seems like good quality and I like the taste. I especially like the beer battered shrimp and when I ordered the veggie burrito it had some sort of chiles in there that also had a fried batter around them. In the several times I have been there, the service has not been friendly though. The woman at the register consistently seems to be angry or unhappy to be there (definitely no smiles or friendly greeting). The last time I was there, two employees were complaining to each other about something, and every table in the place had leftover plates, dishes, etc...I don't know maybe the bus boy quit that day or something. I don't think I'll go there for a while because I prefer a friendlier environment.

Worst food, 3/26/2010
Reviewer: Cynthia from Santa Barbara, CA
I ordered steak tacos and they were the worst I've tasted. The meat was hard and the flavor was as if the meat had been repeatedly heated. The beans were flavorless and had a weird texture and it was the same for the rice. The salsa was the only item that had flavor. I had never eaten here before, so I thought I would give it a try. Unfortunately, the food was terrible and the price was expensive for what I received.

good food......, 3/3/2010
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
I came to this place because I heard about the great taco tuesday deals. I was happy with the prices, and the quality of the food especially the salsa, but what I was disappointed with were the employees. The ones taking my order were too busy talking to each other while my friends an I waited in line, and the ones bringing the food didnt seem to excited to be there. I was with my friends who had eatin here before and they said it was not always like this, so I will give it another chance some day.

Great Experiance.., 2/19/2010
Reviewer: Joey from Santa Barbara, CA
Great Food, Great Atmosphere, Great Staff...

Awesome Food!, 1/1/2010
Reviewer: Lisa Settle from Newport Beach, CA
Not at all what we expected. This place is basically a few tables and an ordr counter, but the food was the best Mexican I have EVER had outside of Mexico! I had the tamales and the cheese enchilada. Oh and the Spanish rice was fantastic also. Great all the way around. We're definitely going to make this a regular stop whenever we're in town.

I was there for the cheap beer, 9/26/2009
Reviewer: Kyle from Santa Barbara, CA
I had a bad experience my first time here. This time i ordered the cheap 4 dollars 40 oz. beers. It was served beautifully by the service staff. I liked the attitude of those servers. It was enough to give the food another try. My friend had a great time falling on the floor and entertaining the servers.

Excellent all the way around, 9/16/2009
Reviewer: Rob from Santa Barbara, CA
Reading some of the past reviews and its sad what some people choose to judge on. Really, is a "salsa bar" that important? Get a life. I go here for lunch/dinner 2-3 times a week, and get something different everytime, I've yet to be disappointed. Every now and then at a restaurant, you're going to get something subpar, like chips that have been sitting a while, but you know what, if that's the worst thing that happens, you're doing pretty well. The carne asada tacos are excellent, the BRC burrito is affordable and awesome especially with the red sauce, the fresh homemade salsa is wonderful, and the energy in the place can't be denied. The drink specials during the week just solidify this place's overall greatness. Some of you wannabe food critics out there just need to get over yourselves.

Consistently Good....most of the time., 9/13/2009
Reviewer: Nick from Santa Barbara, CA
I order from Chinos several times a week and am satisfied for the most part.....with the burritos...not the tacos. I have recommended that friends try Chinos and they say the same thing....good burritos, bad tacos. We joke that it should be called Chinos Rock & Burritos. Chips are served with every order which is a nice addition. (except tonights chips, they tasted spoiled...bad oil I guess.) Ordering through the internet is pretty easy and convenient. You just enter what time you want to pick your order up and then just be there at that time to pick it up. The only issue I have with it is sometimes the staff bag up the order right after it comes through their system....then it sits in the bag (getting cold) until you pick it up. Staff are pretty friendly and helpful which is a big plus. Favorite Items; *Macho Burrito w/ chicken (green sauce) *BRC (bean, rice & cheese burrito) *Chicken Enchilada FYI, value menu is a great deal.

wow. i was blown away at the whole experience., 8/19/2009
Reviewer: Jackey from Santa Barbara, CA
when i moved to santa barbara i went crazy over all the mexican food and little tacorias on milpas and san andres, i tried all the Mexican restaurants down town and always left not fully satisfied . The energy in chinos is undeniable, the girls seem to love their job and hustle there asses. . and as far as the food . WOW. i recommend u try it for yourself. most definitely u will go away just as satisfied and happy as i was! I LOVE CHINOS!!!!!!! but u guys need to get some hot guys.

Dinner for two for nine dollars!, 8/16/2009
Reviewer: Spencer from Santa Barbara, CA
Can't say it will be the same for everyone, but my girlfriend and I come to Chino's and split the vegetarian burrito (with delicious chile relleno inside!) and between the burrito, the free chips and two waters: we are full! Best value for a great burrito in Santa barbara.

Rockstar Lounge is brilliant!, 8/8/2009
Reviewer: Pete Ayer from Santa Barbara, CA
We had a blast on the Rockstar Lounge during Fiesta. I am definately making this my spot for Mexican food on State. People need to get over the salsa. The food is way better than others.

Love IT!, 7/30/2009
Reviewer: Kim from Santa Barbara, CA
I just moved here from San Francisco and I have been missing the food! BUT this place hit the spot although they could use a few more Veggi friendly options. I rate this heads above Wahhoos and Rudy's!

They definitely need salsa!, 7/23/2009
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
Tried R&T for lunch yesterday and while the food was pretty good, it didn't quite rate "rocking" I felt a bit deceived when the order taker asked me "would you like red or green sauce on that." It came across as if I had a choice between the two so I chose the red sauce. I discovered later that was the extra charge printed on the menu as "wet burrito" for an additional fifty nine cents. While I appreciate the chips and salsa to munch, the salsa itself is weak. They need to go eat at Frog Bar's Sunday Brunch and taste some of Javier's salsa, then have breakfast at Max's and taste their salsa and perhaps a lunch trip to Los Gallos to try out their wonderful salsa bar. Without good salsa Chino's won't be getting much of my business.

TACO TUESDAY!!, 7/22/2009
Reviewer: Joe from Santa Barbara, CA
A really cool spot to hang with friends and stuff your face with tacos. $1 tacos are small and pretty plain, but the fish tacos (not on special) are awesome. Mahi Mahi and Ahi are both great choices. All of the girls that work there are very accommodating and do a great job checking up on tables. People complaining about this place need to settle down and appreciate Chino's for what it is- cheap food in a chill setting right in the middle of downtown.

Lacking Salsa, 7/21/2009
Reviewer: Nathan Lynn from Santa Barbara, CA
The location is good. Anything central downtown is key. The music for a Rock & Tacos place was quiet and hard to hear. I ordered the Mahi Mahi fish tacos w/ corn tortillas and my wife, being a vegetarian just ordered a bean and rice burrito and a drink. Our bill was somewhere over $20 for lunch. There is no salsa bar, nor do they have a variety of salsa behind the counter. In fact they have 2 salsas, the chips salsa (which is weak and watery) and a green salsa verde. I asked them for some salsa verde like my wife had put on her burrito and they wanted to charge me extra for it after I had paid over $20 for our meals and had sat down, then the guy went on to tell me that we had already paid extra for the salsa on her burrito without telling us when we paid. We received no itemized receipt and I am curious how expensive her bean and rice burrito actually was. The fish tacos were tasty, buttery, but nothing extraordinary. The waitress was very nice but the manager/supervisor needed to work on his customer service. I'm not sure it will survive.

Wow, 7/7/2009
Reviewer: Stephanie from Santa Barbara, CA
Wow my friend and I went to Chino's to try it out. We were greeted with friendly hellos from the staff they were very helpful in suggesting the fuego tacos they were by far the best I have ever had. They used chicken breast for the meat which was surprising that they would use such high quality meat for such a low price. Overall I am so excited there is a place that mixed ambiance and good food.

very weak nachos....afraid to try the rest., 7/6/2009
Reviewer: Kyle from Santa Barbara, CA
My first experience of the food was painful. I ordered the 9 dollars nachos and had it to-go. I only have comments on the nachos which were the worst in all of Santa Barbara. I brought the nachos to work hoping to be Santa Claus on Christmas, but turned out to be Jack and the Bean Stalk. 2 Handfuls of Chips fried early that day(OK), 3oz Shredded Cheese(Could Have made an easy cheese sauce), 5-6 oz Pulled Chicken(tasted like chicken cooked in a flavorless stew for hours, making the chix dry), 2oz of chopped iceberg Lettuce, 1 oz of chopped tomatoes. 1 oz of sour cream 1 oz of guacamole I wish there could be more authenticity, made some fresh herds to start. Super Disappointing. Most of the menu was the same thing but different ingredients and different wrap. there is no signature dishes, sauce or flavor. I pray somebody who love to cook good food is hired. Till then over priced for what you get.

SoSo, 6/30/2009
Reviewer: Alissa from Santa Barbara, CA
So after reading the "reviews" we decided to give Chino's a try. The food was ok, not spectacular, not bad, just so-so. I'd describe it as American-ized Mexican. The service was friendly. The decor was wanting to be rock n roll-ish, but with the dead rock star pictures hung on the walls, it's not too famiy friendly. The reviews we read mention low prices; Wahoo's (one of our favorites) has better prices, better quality/flavors and a better aptmosphere. We'll stick with our favorites..

Great 'Value' Restaurant on State!, 6/30/2009
Reviewer: D from Santa Barbara, CA
Great location and very refreshing to have a place on state street that is affordable! We went for taco Tuesday. $1 tacos and $2 beers! and they are good beers in the bottle, they have about five different ones to choose from! I will definatly be back!

Good Tacos! , 6/29/2009
Reviewer: Candy from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Chino’s the other day with a friend and had the 2 item combo. The crispy tacos were very crispy, I liked it. The Spanish rice was good. I judge a place by their Spanish rice and it was tasty. The chips were freshly made. mmm The service was great..courtous and friendly. We had to wait a while for our food because we went during lunch rush hour. The chips tied us over until our food came! :) My friend had the chimichaga and he said he was full from all the shredded beef they stuffed in there. good stuff. I will return.

Good deals, stupid concept, 6/27/2009
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
You really can't beat $2 burritos, $1 tacos, and $1 beers (expect to get what you pay for though), but we had one horrible experience. Why would a company buy 5 very expensive TVs and then refuse to change one of them to a sporting event when not a single other customer is inside? They have a surfing video on repeat and claim they are not allowed to "break from the theme." They lost out on a lot of money that night along with tons of future money since my friends and I will not be returning.

Great new, affordable place on State, 6/23/2009
Reviewer: Leana from Santa Barbara, CA
This is a really wonderful new taco place! I have been twice so far and both times have been great. Not only is the food fresh and plentiful, the service was way above average. You are given a complimentary bowl of homemade chips and delicious salsa brought right to your table. I really hope this place makes it on State, and I can't see why it won't with it's great food and service. Also, they have some great mid-week specials like Taco Tuesday is $1 chicken or beef tacos and $2 bottle beers.

RrockN Value Menu and way kool ! ^..^~, 6/23/2009
Reviewer: Andi ^..^~ from Santa Barbara, CA
What a treat to walk in to this place and see a welcoming "Value Menu" along with the smiling faces as we arrived after a day filled with over-priced this and that . We had a BRC( Bean ,Rice , cheese) burrito with green sauce off that menu . Its a steal for the price along with a tasty crispy taco( under $2 ) with real shredded beef nicely seasoned. Vibe is drippin koolness and the place I guarantee will not be empty on the specials nights . Loved that the counter girl invited us to check out the Rockstar room upstairs where I immediately decided would be a venue for my upcoming Bday celebration with Jessica's help ! Definitely the place for a burrito and a beer and a deal . Cheers to Chino's !

a need for spice, 6/22/2009
Reviewer: chrisc from Santa Barbara, CA
First off, service was friendly and attentive. Very good for this type of eatery in SB. Chips and salsa were delivered promptly. The red salsa was tasty with some zip, but the texture was watery thin. The only other sauces were a creamy cilantro dressing and Tapatio from the bottle - no pico, etc. Second, ingredients seemed to be high quality and fresh; presentation was good and portions were notably generous. Alas, those bountiful ingredients weren't cooked with much inspiration - the flavor just wasn't there in the beef and chicken dishes we tried compared to many other Mexican eateries here which are less cautious with the spices and put more TLC into the prep. (We hadn't read the previous review of C's R&T and so missed the fish entirely.) Likely to be a winner with the college crowd and tourists.

wow - what a great surprise, 6/17/2009
Reviewer: Geoffrey H from Santa Barbara, CA
I had just walked in expecting the quick mediocre fare - but got one of the best grilled fish tacos ever (and I eat them alot - everywhere) as a full plate, no less. The Ahi tacos are exceptional as was the look of everyone's big burrito meals and salads. Big servings with really fresh garden produce really sets Chino's apart from what you might expect at first glance. And they have a real happy hour with $2 beers and $1 tacos - are you kidding?

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